Braised sea bass with heirloom tomatoes
Braised sea bass with heirloom tomatoes | Joy Godfrey

315 Restaurant & Wine Bar

Patrons here are encouraged to wash down classic French cuisine with a drink from one of the most varied wine lists in town, a 20-page selection of seasonal, sparkling and dessert wines, apéritifs, ports, sherries, beer and cocktails from across the world. Starters include a French onion soup gratinee ($12) with Comté cheese and sourdough croutons, basil-wrapped shrimp ($14) or a Farmers Market summer green salad ($13), colored with shaved garden vegetables and Champagne tarragon vinaigrette. Executive Chef Louis Moskow sources seasonal vegetables locally from the Farmers Market when possible, as with the summer squash on the grilled duck brochettes ($27), which also comes with Israeli couscous and fresh cherry sauce. Other standout entrées include the steak frites ($30), a 10-ounce New York strip with au poivre, béarnaise or herb butter. Don’t skimp on dessert. The pineapple upside-down cake ($10) is served with bourbon sauce, the sticky toffee pudding ($10) comes with salted caramel sauce and the flourless chocolate cake ($10) with raspberry sauce and whipped cream.

315 Old Santa Fe Trail, 986-9190
Dinner daily.


Cubanito
Cubanito | Joy Godfrey

Bang Bite

"Love," Bang Bite’s Enrique Guerrero says when asked to identify the secret ingredient in his killer burgers. Guerrero, whose résumé reads like a blueprint for foodie superstardom—ripe with stints at NorCal’s The French Laundry and NYC’s Le Cirque—has been there, done that. So, in developing the menu for the bright orange shack found at the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Old Santa Fe Trail, he went for down-home comfort food with a dash of gourmet. Try the newly minted "Hush Papi’s" ($4)—sweet white corn- and green chile-stuffed hushpuppies—with a signature aioli that he says is guaranteed to make you moan,"¡Ay, Papi!" For your main, any of the burgers on the menu should do the trick. The "Trailer Deluxe" ($10.95) comes equipped with a heaping serving of bacon and ham, and the "OMG Burger" ($11.50) is enough for three sandwiches with a behemoth patty and a mound of BBQ pulled pork. Insert second moan here. While there, make sure to read the set of house rules printed on the back of the menu. They include: "Real friends don’t let their amigos eat at boring places," and the self-explanatory "Don’t bitch me out."

502 Old Santa Fe Trail, 469-2345
Lunch Monday-Saturday.


Seared diver scallops; caramelized onion and foie gras farotto; cider reduction
Seared diver scallops; caramelized onion and foie gras farotto; cider reduction | Joy Godfrey

The Compound

Aesthetics are clearly important to The Compound, which is located in the heart of Canyon Road near some of the city’s most bourgeois art galleries. For its food, The Compound attempts to take American-born Southwestern traditions to their most elegant ends. The jumbo crab and lobster salad ($20) is served in layers, starting from the bottom with butter lettuce and working up with a thick mixture of crab, lobster and small mango bites. A tangerine vinaigrette dressing binds together each tier, topped with two long pretzel sticks that form a cross. But it also tastes good. The dressing is at once buttery and zesty, while the mango bites and shellfish blend together with a light, tangy zeal. Sides aren’t any worse. The truffled mac and cheese ($10) is made with white cheddar and a hint of blue cheese toppled with breadcrumbs. For patrons wanting to get tastefully pickled, The Compound has all the wine in the world to choose from.

653 Canyon Road, 982-4353
Lunch Monday-Saturday; dinner daily.


Patatas bravas
Patatas bravas | Joy Godfrey

Dr. Field Goods Kitchen

Chef Josh Gerwin has turned an unassuming strip-mall corner into a hip haven with a creative and consistently tasty menu and a fine selection of beer. Notables include the carne adovada egg roll ($8), which is stuffed to a wide girth with marinated pork and deep fried, then served with pickled vegetables and a peanut dipping sauce. Those who dig the joint’s vibe of skull and kitchen implements tend to enjoy Gerwin’s Bad Ass BLT ($13)—an inch-thick, ground bacon and pork patty grilled like a burger and slathered with mayo. Don’t miss the patatas bravas ($8) that you’ll also sometimes see when Dr. Field Goods takes to the streets in food-truck format. This twist on green chile cheese fries features garlic and chile aioli. Turn them into a meal by adding bacon. A friendly waitstaff and a casual atmosphere await. Even patio tables along the city’s busiest street can make you feel, well, all right.

2860 Cerrillos Road, Ste. A1,
471-0043. Lunch and dinner daily.


Fresh burrata; roasted beet purée; mostarda; arugula and crostini
Fresh burrata; roasted beet purée; mostarda; arugula and crostini | Joy Godfrey

Fire & Hops

This newcomer to the gastropub scene has already made its way into the heart of the city. Maybe it’s the solid wood floors or the tight bar space or the string of old-school lights that illuminate the patio—all are part of a successful combination of good atmosphere and tasty food. Many of the dishes find the right combo, too. Chef Joel Coleman’s fresh, herbaceous, housemade Chiang Mai sausage ($17) served with spätzle and kraut is Thailand-meets-Germany-meets-yum, and this version of poutine ($8), which features green chile, cheese curds and bacon, will have you scraping the dish. Did I mention the drinks? In addition to a crazy long list of at least 20 beers that tackles local microbreweries, regional favorites and imports, they also have cider offerings including local Santa Sidra and Washington’s Tieton in a fruit basket of cherry, apricot, pumpkin and more. Plus, they’ve got the game on.

222 N Guadalupe St., 954-1635
Dinner daily.


Mesquite-grilled Maine lobster tails with angel hair pasta
Mesquite-grilled Maine lobster tails with angel hair pasta | Joy Godfrey

Geronimo

Owing its name to original tenant Geronimo López, who dwelled in the Canyon Road adobe in the 1700s, Geronimo is arguably the signature of Santa Fe’s culinary refinement. Specializing in "global eclectic" dishes, everything from Maryland blue crab cakes ($17) with caviar dill sauce and braised baby leaks to sea bass ($37) served atop a delicate bed of lobster miso-bathed ramen, adorn the menu. Be blown away by the likes of Telicherry-rubbed tenderloin ($42)—a hearty cut resting on garlic fork-mashed potatoes and paired with creamy brandied mushroom sauce that make any occasion here a truly special one. A solid vegetarian tasting menu is also at hand. Room for dessert? Try the housemade ice cream and sorbet trio ($9) that’ll make you turn your nose up to Baskin-Robbins for life or the fresh Meyer lemon crepe ($12) that will leave your taste buds singing, dancing and begging for more. Bon appétit!

724 Canyon Road, 982-1500
Dinner daily.


Bottom to top: Pork belly kakuni with watermelon; onigiri; pickle selection; kinpira gobo
Bottom to top: Pork belly kakuni with watermelon; onigiri; pickle selection; kinpira gobo | Joy Godfrey

Izanami

As popular as tapas menus have become, it’s no surprise that our new Japanese small-plates restaurant is already a big hit. This recent addition to the Ten Thousand Waves campus is a sure thing for a unique dining experience best shared with a companion or two. Enjoy a sake and watch servers fill the glass to the brim and then some in a gesture meant to symbolize overflowing abundance. Crunch into tempura green beans ($6) and a variety of fermented goodies such as gingered burdock root ($5) before you settle on a nami burger ($14) made with wagyu beef. A roasted sweet potato dish ($6) topped with miso butter and togarashi spice blend is superb. If sake is not your thing, try one of several sparkling fruit beverage offerings such as the yuzu citrus-ade ($4.50) And when you are done, wipe your hands on the warm, moist oshiburi napkin and look out at the mountain view one more time. Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe it.

3451 Hyde Park Road, 428-6390
Lunch and dinner daily.


Sautéed Californian white sea bass with sautéed artichoke and black rice
Sautéed Californian white sea bass with sautéed artichoke and black rice | Joy Godfrey

L ’Olivier

Chef Xavier Grenet presents a surprising communion between French and Southwest cuisine in L’Olivier, located on the downtown corner of Galisteo and West Alameda, where friendly wait staff with ties provide prompt service inside, as well as on the tranquil patio that faces the western sunset. Rich French flavors stand out in dishes like the sautéed Californian white sea bass ($28), with saffron sauce, artichoke and black rice. And the hot zing of the Southwest spices entrées like the grass-fed rosemary braised beef short ribs ($28), served with glazed shallots, haricots verts, jack-cheese mashed potatoes and green chile. Serving sizes for the main courses will fill any American stomach, like the organic grilled beef tenderloin ($36), this one swimming in green peppercorn sauce, adorned with fava beans, Emmental cheese and heavenly little clouds of potato gnocchi. On a drink list replete with fine wine, there’s an affordable gem in a glass of Gavroche ($6), 11.2 ounces of French red ale.

229 Galisteo St., 989-1919
Dinner Monday-Saturday.


New York strip and cheese enchiladas
New York strip and cheese enchiladas | Joy Godfrey

Santa Fe Bite

Many mourned in the summer of 2013 when Bobcat Bite, the Old Las Vegas Highway mainstay, dimmed the lights on their 29-seater. From its ashes and at a snazzy in-town location, owners Bonnie and John Eckre have rebuilt its essence and added a kids menu, as well as perfected other non-burger items like a healthy assortment of salads (try the wedge for $7.50), local favorites like carnitas street tacos ($11.50) and green chile chicken enchiladas ($12.50), and a slew of steaks and chops. Purists will agree, however, that burgers here are the Eckres’ Sistine Chapel. Feeling daring, I went for the "Big Bite" ($17.95), which is big enough to feed a small village with its 16 ounces of pure, unsullied meat nirvana and is served with fries, salad and garlic bread. OK, you can stick a fork in me now.

311 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-0544
Breakfast Saturday-Sunday; lunch and dinner daily.


Buddha bowl
Buddha bowl | Joy Godfrey

SweetWater Harvest Kitchen

A live reggae trio sets a placid atmosphere during a recent Sunday brunch at the Pacheco Street establishment that has a modern but homey feel. Co-owner Soma Franks’ belief that feeding people feeds community is on full display, as Sage Grey plays harp and his group’s soft lyrics about Babylon dance around the diners’ chatter. On the breakfast menu, look for the most unique breakfast burrito ($9.25) in Santa Fe, filled with black beans, sweet potato and a fried egg, wrapped in a wheat tortilla and topped with jack cheese, smothered in your choice of chile. The colorful heirloom tomato eggs Florentine ($11.25)—two poached eggs, spinach and Hollandaise sauce on top of a sliced tomato—is a healthy and tasty alternative. Dinner dishes include a Thai curry chicken noodle bowl ($18), garden lasagna ($16) and fish tacos with Moroccan sauce ($18). Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options abound. Make sure to try the vegan chocolate mousse ($5.50-$7). It’s a cup of tasty richness made with avocado and topped with fresh strawberries and raspberries.

1512 Pacheco St., 795-7383
Breakfast and lunch Monday-Saturday; dinner Wednesday-Saturday; and brunch on Sundays.